Our house is two doors from the school bus stop, which, this year, has 21 kids from the surrounding couple of blocks gathering there for the 8:02. Twenty-one! Kate is in hog heaven — finally, in with the in crowd. After they all got on today and the bus rumbled away, we adults stood around looking at one another for a few minutes, stunned. Then we raised a big cheer, and suggested meeting for at least one round of Irish coffees. Of course we didn’t, but we should’ve.
Then I went out and bought … a piano! Kate is taking “keyboard” this year, which means she has to have a practice instrument. I always wanted her to have a real piano, and I know you can always buy someone’s old upright for a few hundred bucks if you watch the classifieds closely. But Alan pointed out a few things, and of those things I only need to repeat one: A piano is a piece of furniture weighing approximately as much as a dump truck. Plus, you have to have it tuned and so on and blah blah, and, ninja shopper that he is, he’d already researched the alternatives and found some very nice virtual pianos for the same price as a used upright. I was dubious. I shouldn’t have been.
Technology, she is so amazing. Once you get past the spring-loaded plastic keys with bossa nova rhythm tracks available at the very low end of the market, the vistas open up into some very cool stuff. We ended up with an 88-key marvel that feels exactly like a real piano, sounds exactly like a real piano and weighs about as much as a piano bench. Because it’s digital, it also sounds like a real harpsichord, string section, pipe organ, etc., so we had some fun after setting it up, playing “Some Day My Prince Will Come” (installed in its memory) on the vibes. “It’s Lionel Hampton!” Alan crowed.
Now that we have the instrument, I’m going to take lessons, too. Although I know it will be slow going. When Alan turned on the device’s metronome, I wondered why it went chirp-tock-tock-tock-chirp-tock-tock-tock. “That’s the beat,” he said. Oh. Mr. Know-it-All. If only he had spoken the language of Prince, I would have understood perfectly: “All the white people clap your hands on the four now — one, two, three, (clap), one, two, three, (clap).”
I still think I need more musical training.
Feeling 3/4 of the way to health. More tomorrow.